Big Bang "Smoking Gun" Found, Possible Nobel Prize Coming

Big Bang "Smoking Gun" Found, Possible Nobel Prize Coming

Cosmic Microwave Background

Researchers believe they have uncovered incredible evidence that supports the Big Bang Theory of the formation of the Universe.

Editor's Note: Our original story seemed to suggest the Cosmic Microwave Background was recently found; we have clarified that what was found was a signal within the CMB.

The theoretical signal that would have been left behind by the rapid expansion of the early Universe has been identified by an American team using a telescope at the South Pole. The results will face intense scrutiny, but if confirmed, a Nobel Prize is almost a guarantee.

"This is spectacular," commented Prof Marc Kamionkowski, from Johns Hopkins University.

"I've seen the research; the arguments are persuasive, and the scientists involved are among the most careful and conservative people I know," he told BBC News.

The concept of "inflation" was introduced in the early 1980s when the Big Bang Theory couldn't explain why deep space looks roughly the same on all sides of the sky. Inflation would have seen the infant Universe have an exponential growth spurt during its first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second of existence, which would have smoothed out any unevenness. But this inflation theory also predicted that associated waves of gravitational energy would have accompanied this growth spurt and left an indelible mark on the oldest light in the sky - the Cosmic Microwave Background.

"Detecting this signal is one of the most important goals in cosmology today. A lot of work by a lot of people has led up to this point," said Prof John Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and a leader of the collaboration.

Source: BBC

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Didn't understand much of the gobbity gook, but fuck yeah, go on science with your bad self!

Personally, I think "Cosmic Microwave Background" needs to be a new Dragonball Z attack.

I thought your article was referring to the original accidental discovery of the existence of background radiation by those two idiots who thought it was interference from pigeons :P (look it up) In which case this is from 1964 and you would have been the ultimate slowpoke.

But your article refers to the theoretical specific signal that has been isolated. Maybe you should be more specific because anyone is physics reading "Cosmic background discovered" would probably spit out their coffee and laugh before carefully re-reading it.

The polarization of space-time caused by the primordial twisting of gravitational waves?

Certainly sounds Nobel-worthy. :)

I look forward to the applied, practical applications that will be developed sometime in the next dozen centuries.

MinionJoe:
The polarization of space-time caused by the primordial twisting of gravitational waves?

Certainly sounds Nobel-worthy. :)

I look forward to the applied, practical applications that will be developed sometime in the next dozen centuries.

Might not have to wait that long; knowing that physics works one way and not the other does have an impact on technology. You almost certainly use devices in your daily life whose workings depend on our understanding of quantum mechanics after all.

Trishbot:
Personally, I think "Cosmic Microwave Background" needs to be a new Dragonball Z attack.

Well, there was already a Big Bang Attack.

Although I mostly equate Big Bang with the atheist equivalent of yelling 'Oh god, I'm cumming' when orgasming. Thanks for that, Bill.

Scrumpmonkey:
I thought your article was referring to the original accidental discovery of the existence of background radiation by those two idiots who thought it was interference from pigeons :P

The discovery was not accidental, only the measurement. CMB radiation was predicted several decades earlier. Also, the people you are referring to as "idiots" are physicists/astronomers. They are not lumberjacks.

MinionJoe:
I look forward to the applied, practical applications that will be developed sometime in the next dozen centuries.

Preach on, brother. Fuck the creation of the universe, we just want better gadgets.

Way i read it and i may be wrong but its a signal type that comfirms the inflation theory that has been popular in the last few years over the bang theory.

Carnagath:

Preach on, brother. Fuck the creation of the universe, we just want better gadgets.

Well, that is how technological progress is made. :)

The mathematicians work out some equations that show the possibility of a new effect.
The physicists investigate through observational and/or experimental processes (ie the scientific process).
Then the engineers take it and apply it to real-world applications.

The gravitational polarization drive will be awesome. It will just take some time to develop.

In the meantime, I'm definitely going to track this research. Heck, when I was last a physicist, there was no confirmed observational evidence of black holes, much less exoplanets. Stuff like this almost makes me want to go back to school.

So, will this stop people from arguing for creationism?

CelestDaer:
So, will this stop people from arguing for creationism?

Hahahaha!! Nothing will ever stop people from arguing for creationism. Those arguments have nothing to do with, science, reason, facts or data-they are a matter of faith. Reality doesn't apply.

The Cosmic Microwave Background sucks. I stuck my frozen dinner outside and it took forever to cook.

Thank you, I'm here all week. Try the chicken!

Anyway, it's good that they found the evidence they were looking for, but it's important to remember that when you're looking for something specific, it's human nature to think that something similar is exactly what you want. Let's hold off on the "Nobel Prize" talk until that scrutiny happens.

Carnagath:

Scrumpmonkey:
I thought your article was referring to the original accidental discovery of the existence of background radiation by those two idiots who thought it was interference from pigeons :P

The discovery was not accidental, only the measurement. CMB radiation was predicted several decades earlier. Also, the people you are referring to as "idiots" are physicists/astronomers. They are not lumberjacks.

It was a lighthearted joke :/

Why is everyone always so obsessed with being factually correct to the letter?. It makes them insufferable to talk to. "Well actually you'll find this is correct". I know. I was exaggerating to make a physics joke. I even gave a little ":P" to signify my tongue was firmly in my cheek.

CelestDaer:
So, will this stop people from arguing for creationism?

How could it? If I'm not mistaken church accepts bb theory as a valid explanation for the existence of the universe (except they put god somewhere in there).

It's actually cosmic inflation, that the smoking gun was found for not the big bang. cosmic inflation is an idea that has been kicked around for years and we have had a lot of indirect evidence for it but never anything really direct for it. Now we have that and that means that our current model for the universe and even that our particle physics is correct.

You know, I'd like to be happy about this; it's a huge thing. Incredible, in fact. But all I can think about is people taking this as a way to give religious people shit. Just trying to rub it in people's face for some reason.

But, regardless, very cool thing.

Scrumpmonkey:

Carnagath:

Scrumpmonkey:
I thought your article was referring to the original accidental discovery of the existence of background radiation by those two idiots who thought it was interference from pigeons :P

The discovery was not accidental, only the measurement. CMB radiation was predicted several decades earlier. Also, the people you are referring to as "idiots" are physicists/astronomers. They are not lumberjacks.

It was a lighthearted joke :/

Why is everyone always so obsessed with being factually correct to the letter?. It makes them insufferable to talk to. "Well actually you'll find this is correct". I know. I was exaggerating to make a physics joke. I even gave a little ":P" to signify my tongue was firmly in my cheek.

Eh, dunno, your joke went completely over my head and I still don't see it. Let's just attribute that to incompatible perceptions of humor. It happens.

In case anyone is interested, there is a video of them breaking the news to Andrei Linde

http://youtu.be/ZlfIVEy_YOA

It was a pretty great moment of humanity in what I'm sure most people see as impenitrably dense scientific writing.

CelestDaer:
So, will this stop people from arguing for creationism?

inb4 GOD CREATED THE BACKGROUND RADIATION BEHIND THE BIG BANG.

Personally, this kinda flew over my head (which is only motivating more to pay attention in Chemistry and Physics), but anything that advances and stimulates our knowledge of the universe. ... And personally I'm a fan for anything that brings more attention to space exploration (or just space anything).

james.sponge:

CelestDaer:
So, will this stop people from arguing for creationism?

How could it? If I'm not mistaken church accepts bb theory as a valid explanation for the existence of the universe (except they put god somewhere in there).

Creationism isn't the application of a belief in god into science. That would be open-minded.

CelestDaer:
So, will this stop people from arguing for creationism?

Yes, this will now end that debate once and for all. It was the lack of detectable gravity waves that kept them holding on till now.

Though I doubt quasi-steady state theorists will give up so easily.

CelestDaer:
So, will this stop people from arguing for creationism?

Unlikely. The more intelligent creationists usually retort with "God created the big bang thus everything that comes from it is also created by god".

james.sponge:

CelestDaer:
So, will this stop people from arguing for creationism?

How could it? If I'm not mistaken church accepts bb theory as a valid explanation for the existence of the universe (except they put god somewhere in there).

No.

That's the (relatively) sensible Church.

The Creationists are the REALLY nutty ones who believe in the literal bible and the 6000 year old Earth (and they say we break the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics?!?).

Is there any valid scientific opposition to the BB theory anymore? I find it weird when finding more evidence to support something we already fully support is deemed amazing. Like being astounded when the bit marks on your leg match the teeth of the dog you just saw bite you. However they figured out how to measure it may be more nobel prize worthy than what they actually measured.

FalloutJack:

james.sponge:

CelestDaer:
So, will this stop people from arguing for creationism?

How could it? If I'm not mistaken church accepts bb theory as a valid explanation for the existence of the universe (except they put god somewhere in there).

Creationism isn't the application of a belief in god into science. That would be open-minded.

It is an interesting subject to study.

Science-minded Christians generally point to the Bible's possible compatibility with BB theory. You know, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth", that's before the seven days of creation. Heck before the seven days of creation the Earth even existed, it was just void which uses the Hebrew term for that could be desolate or void of life specifically. Then, after all that, you get the seven days which themselves can be interpreted metaphorically. Though the first component allows even literal interpretations of scripture to abide the Big Bang Theory.

So from what I've heard from the Christian community ont he subject, this is basically a non-issue. They have no problem accepting that God's initial creation of the universe started at one point. Remember, the Big Bang theory just explains what happened and not the cause of the explosion or the existence of the matter and energy that first existed.

Buddhism may have issues with an apparent start to the universe depending on the type practice. Most other religions don't necessarily tie time to the creation story. There may be a surprisingly large number of religions that do not outright conflict with an initial explosion creating the universe.

I like to think of the possibility of God's existence in the same way I think of the possibility of a video game developer existing. We, as humans, attempt to make digital universes all the time with their own rules and physics. It makes sense that at some point in our evolution that we would attempt to create even more robust and artificially intelligent mini-universes and populate planets with interesting life and features. I see no reason why a being with sufficient technology and means to create this universe would not do so. I'm not saying we are a digital universe, only that it seems a fundamental nature of sentient beings to want to create and there is no reason why a sufficiently advanced being with the means to do so wouldn't have done so. How do you think an artificially intelligent video game character would view its developer? Would that developer be any less powerful and godlike to them than any being capable of creating this?

What's more is that due to the binary nature of creation in athiesm being that either all matter and energy of the BB suddenly came into existence without cause (aka Magically) or existed for eternity without cause (contrary to thermodynamics, entropy and the principal of causation), I find it more likely to believe that something caused its existence and that that being or process is God by the definition of a creator being God. Any leap then from deism to a specific religion would then still be faith based and not reason-based leap, something you have to understand that you are willingly taking. But deism is just another side of the coin to atheism-based creation of the universe. Either something or someone created the Universe, or it came into existence without cause or has always existed. These are all beliefs about what took place the moments before the BB. These are things Science doesn't try to answer.

MrFalconfly:

The Creationists are the REALLY nutty ones who believe in the literal bible and the 6000 year old Earth (and they say we break the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics?!?).

Eh, I hate to get really technical with you, but "creationist" refers to someone who believes that the universe was created by intelligent design. There are then two types of creationists. The "sensible" ones who believe that the rough estimated universal timescale is probably right are called "Old-earth creationists". The ones you refer to here are called "young-earth creationists", or, as I like to call them, "Last-Thursdayists" (since, by their arguments, it's just as valid to believe that the universe was created Last Thursday, and all memories and evidence otherwise was implanted by God).

james.sponge:
How could it? If I'm not mistaken church accepts bb theory as a valid explanation for the existence of the universe (except they put god somewhere in there).

Essentially the "reasonable" church as mentioned above accepts that the "big bang" was sparked by God, and that He had a guiding hand in forming stars, systems, planets, etc.

My big question here is what is so important about this "inflation" thing? Would the universe have been unstable in its early years without it? If the universe was uneven what other implications would there be? The reason I ask these questions is to see how important the fact that this happened is. Is it just a cool anomaly with no real bearing on how the universe developed? Or is it a critical essential thing that had to have happened or else the universe (or us) wouldn't exist?

Because then I take that question and say okay, if it wasn't important, we can move on. But if it was important, how could something like that have happened? Are we going to say something akin to evolution and the universe tried to be made but collapsed a couple million times before the right combination of random factors happened? Are we going to say random chance got it the first try? Any hypotheses about what was in the primordial uber-compressed universe that made this work?

I say all these with genuine curiosity. I'm a big fan of astrophysics. Nowhere near smart enough to study them, but I enjoy reading and learning about what the smarter people discovered. And yes, the more I read about the universe and its origins and mysteries, the more impressed by God I actually get. Especially if this "inflation" turns out to be critical to the universe's stability. It impresses me to see just how much God did to make everything work just right, and leaving the evidence behind so we can know, including and especially this CMB Radiation thing---

ThunderCavalier:

inb4 GOD CREATED THE BACKGROUND RADIATION BEHIND THE BIG BANG.

Well crap.

MrFalconfly:

james.sponge:

CelestDaer:
So, will this stop people from arguing for creationism?

How could it? If I'm not mistaken church accepts bb theory as a valid explanation for the existence of the universe (except they put god somewhere in there).

No.

That's the (relatively) sensible Church.

The Creationists are the REALLY nutty ones who believe in the literal bible and the 6000 year old Earth (and they say we break the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics?!?).

Creationists are all over the place. There is no stable or unifying belief in creationism besides the belief that God played some role in Earth's existence and/or current form. In addition to mistakingly putting all creationists in one box, you are making another mistake here because creation of the Earth does not necessarily have anything to do with Creation of the Universe. One planet being an incredibly small component of the greater picture and scripture only picking up after the heavens and the earth were technically created.

Some are 6,000/7,000 year or whatever and some are old Earth (creationists) that have theories compatible with scripture that have the earth at its appropriate age. Some believe that Adam and Eve were in the Garden for thousands of years and that the age given did not take into account the time before aging was a thing. Some are somewhere in between with the belief that God created an Earth with established ecosystems that would have the appearance of age without(the idea that to create a river means you have to create the appearance of erosion just to create the riverbed which means that they believe God created a working system which demanded the appearance of age to work since some processes rely on other processes which rely on other processes).

That's not to say anything of what I believe. I'm just stating the extremely varied perspectives on the thing. Your statement would be correct if you specified New Earth creationists as opposed to Creationists in general.

ThunderCavalier:
inb4 GOD CREATED THE BACKGROUND RADIATION BEHIND THE BIG BANG.

Precisely. As long as we don't have a cause for the cause itself, scientists with a bit of a worrying foot in the faith-based sandbox could always bring up that argument.

I more or less agree with the Church when they say that there *always* will be some mysteries for us to elucidate, but I just don't believe in the idea that as soon as something is untested, unproven or uncharted, then God is automatically involved.

At some point, we need to start admitting our ignorance as a species. The day we're able to look at an object of contention in Physics and collectively answer with "Well, we just don't understand that principle well enough, yet" instead of "IT WAS THE BABY JEEBUS!" I'll be very, very proud of what we've accomplished.

IamLEAM1983:

ThunderCavalier:
inb4 GOD CREATED THE BACKGROUND RADIATION BEHIND THE BIG BANG.

Precisely. As long as we don't have a cause for the cause itself, scientists with a bit of a worrying foot in the faith-based sandbox could always bring up that argument.

I more or less agree with the Church when they say that there *always* will be some mysteries for us to elucidate, but I just don't believe in the idea that as soon as something is untested, unproven or uncharted, then God is automatically involved.

At some point, we need to start admitting our ignorance as a species. The day we're able to look at an object of contention in Physics and collectively answer with "Well, we just don't understand that principle well enough, yet" instead of "IT WAS THE BABY JEEBUS!" I'll be very, very proud of what we've accomplished.

Well that's what God is, it's just a reason to stop asking questions. A lot of people don't like having questions unanswered. Why are we born? What happens when we die? Why's the bit in between so awkward? Most of us will never admit out ignorance. It's far to scary to admit that there are things that happen that we just are not equipped to explain[1] it makes us feel helpless. It's also why a lot of people are distrustful of science and would rather choose to believe in a God or Gods who's job it is to look after them, and you can't really blame them because...

Science is friggin terrifying! It shows that we are noting in the eyes of the universe, it shows us how tiny we really are and how so perilously close we live to utter ruination by an uncaring universe.

Scientists are a breed of very brave men and women to get out of bed in the morning knowing what they know about the fantastical ways the universe could screw them over on a daily basis.

[1] yet

x EvilErmine x:
Well that's what God is, it's just a reason to stop asking questions.

Not really. Theism provides a moral construct and an answer to unanswerable questions but it still shouldn't stop people from exploring and trying to see how it happened scientifically. Deism would be a belief in God which makes no presumptions and still leaves all of these answers.

Look, there's really only three ways the universe can exist.

Atheism:
1. It (being the matter and energy the Big Bang was comprised of) has always existed, eternally, with no respect to several of our natural laws (the implication being that pre-bang principles of casuality, entropy/thermodynamics, and a few others did not apply).

2. That it came into existence suddenly and without cause or reason (again, this is magic in today's society).

Deism/Theism:
3. That it was created or caused by some outside force or being with the means to do so. Either purposefully or accidentally.

All of these scenarios are currently contradictory and disregarding any of them as a possibility is being disengenuous. As I said above, I see the notion of a creator no differently then I see the notion of a video game having a developer. We, as humans, constantly strive to create. Developers actually do create mini-universes with physics and rules just like our own. It makes perfect sense that somewhere along our evolution of technology that we would eventually arrive at the capability of creating a stable and incredibly detailed universe complete with some planets that have living organisms. It is not then, unreasonable, to suspect that all this exists because some being with the means and desire to make it so, did so.

The interesting followup is that if God truly exists, He is not supernatural but natural. He would merely be a being of comparatively immense capability in the same way a program developer would just be a being of immense capability compared to his program, able to alter things easily in ways the program cannot but following logic that works in his own universe.

However, a Theism scenario puts specific characteristics on that being. Specific actions and desires. That sounds more like the one you're thinking of. However, I should remind you that Christianity and several other religions have been at the forefront of scientific progression until public universities became standard. It's easy to point out Gallileo as a way religion has occasionally repressed scientific advancement but the truth is that the structure of religious education also lent itself to education in general and developed minds and preserved history.

A few to mention would be:

Isidore of Seville (Christian Archbishop in the 600's): Created a huge compilation (encyclopedia, literally) of scientific concepts and principles that were extremely useful in the Middle Ages. It's called the Etymologiae. Things like math, geography, music, religion, physical science (including atoms), Grammar, and medicine. While certainly dated, this is a cornerstone or foundation that much of our science progressed from.

Roger Bacon: One of the fathers of the scientific method (not to be confused with Francis Bacon who also took up the scientific method stance)

William Ockham: (of Logic's own Ockham's Razor fame) who did a lot of work in Logic and Physics.

John Napier: Invented Logarithms, a calculator in 1617 named Napier's Bones, and popularized the use of decimals.

Galilleo (another Christian): Famously opposed heliocentrism

Really, the list is extreme: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science

I'd say that the being able to read the Bible was perhaps the biggest mover of this. Literacy changed everything. But You've really got to avoid saying that believing in God somehow removes the need or desire for other answers. To make that claim is somewhat offensive, bigotted even.

Lightknight:

I did qualify my response by saying that 'A lot of people don't like having questions unanswered' I apologize if the former statement was misleading. I did not mean to imply that for everyone who has a faith then said faith removes curiosity.

Without getting into a debate on the pros and cons of religion it is my experience that meany people whom are not of a scientific mind and have a belief in a God or Gods do use their belief to avoid asking further awkward questions when the answer God did it or it's His will gets trotted out. A notable exception to this however is children . A child is rarely satisfied with the answer God did it. The followup is invariably the question all parents learn to fear which is...why?

You have cited some very good examples of how a religious belief can be harmonious with the notion of curiosity rather than it's antithesis but I must point out that these are the exception and not a rule. To the average man in the street there is no reason to question the way the world works or why it works the way it does once the God explanation has been used. All part of God's plan, God moves in mysterious ways, Ala wills it. And that's the end of it, there's no use in perusing it further because who are we to know the mind of our Lord?

I'd say that the being able to read the Bible was perhaps the biggest mover of this. Literacy changed everything.

Yes it did, it's one of the most important inventions in human history if not the most important. But i don't see how this relates to my earlier statement.

As to the scenarios you mentioned as to how the universe came to be then I would have to say 1[1] seems like the most simplistic and logical based on the evidence we can gather[2]. The fact that it implys that some of the post-bang physical laws seem to be violated should come as no real surprise as the universe was a singularity at that point and quantum mechanics was the name of the game.

[1] Except there was no matter involved in the early expansion of the universe, it was all energy, matter came later after the universe had cooled enough to allow it to form
[2] And you know what old Mr. Occam and his razor has to say about that

I apologize for the delayed response. I had a medical emergency that removed me from the equation for a few days (obviously minor since I'm back and I am otherwise perfectly healthy).

x EvilErmine x:
Without getting into a debate on the pros and cons of religion it is my experience that meany people whom are not of a scientific mind and have a belief in a God or Gods do use their belief to avoid asking further awkward questions when the answer God did it or it's His will gets trotted out. A notable exception to this however is children . A child is rarely satisfied with the answer God did it. The followup is invariably the question all parents learn to fear which is...why?

I could respond to any such statement with the claim that many people of X race tend to enjoy Y stereotypical food-types and ask why you believe that such experiential knowledge is valid and not somehow bigotted when applied to individuals of the group? With this comment, you are literally announcing that you are prejudiced against this people group based on their belief. I'm not entirely sure why this kind of stereotyping has become socially acceptable.

The fact that it's currently the in-thing to be anti-religion shouldn't make that ok. I get that extreme right-wingers have somehow tethered religion into their rhetoric and that has made religion a far more political thing but that speaks more against organizations that use religion like a weapon when their intents couldn't be any less in the adherents favor.

You've got to understand that this historical misuse of religion isn't any kind of discourse on inherent evils of faith so much as it is a discussion of man's ability and tendency to make even the most benign objects into weapons and tools. Small piece of lead that doesn't hurt if thrown? Make it travel at a much higher velocity and the once harmless object is deadly.

What you should also know is that people like me are so ashamed of the ignorant religious caricature type that we usually don't say anything publicly for fear of association. Can you imagine a scientist who believes in God but tries to publish a legitimate paper on a topic that religious people are typically against? You're talking about being discredited and even alienated from the scientific community at large. Might as well have a different drinking fountain.

I think the only stereotype we can all agree with is that bitches do be crazy. [/joke]

You have cited some very good examples of how a religious belief can be harmonious with the notion of curiosity rather than it's antithesis but I must point out that these are the exception and not a rule.

I strongly disagree. Monastic and literacy practices have had religious organizations on the forefront of scientific advancement for millenia. This has only recently changed thanks to mainstream education and work specialisation that place firmer boundaries between areas of work. You do see historically shameful shenanigans pulled in the name of religion by governments and from the mafia-family church leadership that plagued Rome for a few centuries but by and large, religious instituations themselves have a rich history of advancing the scientific flag and have only impeded significantly less important subject matters. The contributions of Christianity, Buddhism and Islam in philosophy, mathematics, astronomy and so many sciences alone are unquestionable. The truth is, with the right leaders or enough autonomy, religion can contribute to forward thinking every bit as much as it can be detrimental with the wrong leaders.

To the average man in the street there is no reason to question the way the world works or why it works the way it does once the God explanation has been used. All part of God's plan, God moves in mysterious ways, Ala wills it. And that's the end of it, there's no use in perusing it further because who are we to know the mind of our Lord?

Huh? This is highly presumptive. Most religions deal with more philosophical and existential questions than specific scientific topics. The Bible doesn't say "Don't use stem cells". How does God creating the earth or universe prevent you from being curious about how volcanoes work or why the sky is blue or what else there is in the Universe?

Sorry, but humankind has managed to progress just fine with religious beliefs lurking about. The truth is that the average man you speak about has no reason to question anything beyond what they're told, religious or not. The notion that religion somehow answers the nature of subatomic particles and so people don't look into them is silly. Because "God made it so" is not a sufficient answer to the how or the mechanics of what is so and frankly, the why isn't as important as the how. You've got some serious prejudices here that are yours to work out. Good luck. I'm sorry you've met small-minded people but they exist in all places and with nearly any creed and are usually the loudest talkers.

Yes it did, it's one of the most important inventions in human history if not the most important. But i don't see how this relates to my earlier statement.

I assume you're talking about the evolution of the written word as an invention itself and that you don't think I'm just talking about the printing press. A major "job" of monasteries for centuries was purely preserving documents by copying them and interpreting them in new languages in addition to studying religious documents. This was of course more than enough reason for literacy. This is why so many early contributors to science also had a hand in preserving scientifically relevant documents. They'd be copying the documents and have an idea regarding it that they'd then proceed to test and write down their findings on. They were basically the earliest form of peer review.

It's the reason why religious institutions have been at the forefront of scientific advancement. Its because they maintained the ability to read and write. These tools allowed us for the first time to gather centuries of knowledge rather than vague oral tradition and is the snowflake that finally got the ball rolling. Monasteries and clergy positions also provided the means to study and experiment where other jobs wouldn't have provided the time and means. This is one of the reason the affluent also made advances in those days since they had means which afforded them the necessary time and education. These institutions of higher learning (monasteries)that also lent themselves to helping the community around them naturally led ot significant advances in medicine. Their design on self-sustenance led to advances in agriculture and plant breeding techniques. These guys were observant and certainly had the time and energy to do these things. The value of this has been significantly trivialised today where the majority of us can read and where we can obtain information by clicking digital buttons in one location. Likewise, we have so much knowledge floating around and so much human history of invention and discources behind us that modern innovations and breakthroughs require highly specialized training and equipment.

Except there was no matter involved in the early expansion of the universe, it was all energy, matter came later after the universe had cooled enough to allow it to form

I'm not sure how that impacts anything I said in the slightest. Why the energy exists is still a valid question. Especially since energy may be converted into matter and vice versa, the laws that apply to one often applies to the other. The question about where the energy came from isn't really a question regarding the Big Bang and what happened the seconds proceeding it so much as the question of where the energy came from and why the bang happeend (once the energy existed, was it a given that it would expand and if so, why?). Science doesn't try to touch that, it can't since anything from before would be all but obliterated. The thing is, when you or someone else says there is NO creator you're stepping outside of science into faith. Agnosticism is the only anti-faith system I've seen that maintains scientific integrity. Picking any three of the possible reasons for the universe's existence places you instantly outside the realm of agnosticism because you've now made a claim in the absense of evidence.

As stated, there are only three possible beliefs for where it came from.

1. It has always existed eternally. 2. It poofed into existence. 3. It was created by someone or something with the sufficient means to do so.

Of the three, I find the third to be the simplest explanation given the nature of our present universe. Any claim that some of our classical mechanic laws didn't apply then might be true but to make assumptions that it threw out all laws including the governing laws prior to the bang would be no more sane sounding than anything a Jehova Witness may have told you on your doorstep. The truth is, most of the ways that the laws of physics were breached were usually relativity issues but relativity and most classical mechanics already fall apart the closer you get to the speed of light anyways. It'd be like saying that quantum objects "break" classical laws when the correct statement is that classical laws don't apply to quantum objects any more than they do to objects traveling faster than the speed of light or very close to it.

To my knowledge, most other laws remained intact, to the point that we can correctly measure the energy they exerted as demonstrated by the reason for this article we're talking under. But, it is also my understanding that the exact nature of the early post-big bang events are conjecture at best. But the argument that there wasn't some whale and flowerpot falling craziness necessarily.

seems like the most simplistic and logical based on the evidence we can gather

Do you find it illogical that someone would want to create a universe when humans try to do it all the time all around you? I find it far simpler that this would be the case rather than the notion that energy magicked into existence or has existed for all time without any reason. Your premise that non-causal cosmological solutions are somehow simpler is deeply flawed and perhaps informed by your experience with religious individuals in general rather than looking at it from the perspective that this does not benefit any specific religion in any way. The issue science usually has with a sentient creator is moreso with the leaps people take with that belief and not the possibility itself. "A being created us, therefore X" is usually wildly presumptive itself and presumption has always been the bane of science.

I see it like this. There is a teacup (energy) that shattered (big bang) into a trillion pieces (universe). Your claim would have me believe that the teacup appeared without reason sometime before (or instantaneously when) shattering or that the teacup was always suspended a moment before shattering for eternity without cause whereas my claim would be that some jerk knocked it off the table or dropped it or whatever. Now, in that example I'm not necessarily claiming that the person is now spending their lifetime hovering over the shards of glass answering prayers hoping that His next leap will be home, I am making no jumps as to the reason or nature behind any such cause. Merely that it is perfectly reasonable if not more reasonable to believe that of the three options, a cause is more likely. The alternative is to specifically believe in something that would be magic in any other circumstances whereas and actual creator wouldn't be magic, it would merely be a being with sufficient ability to create this environment and the motivation to do so. Not much different from the team that made Duke Nukem with a physics engines. Sure, in Duke's world the developer would be supernatural but in reality? Nothing special unless you ask their moms. Not to say that God wouldn't be special. Just that a God wouldn't have to meet any of the specifications faiths have assigned to God in our limited existence.

But let's keep in mind that the inplausibility that matter or energy would be created out of nothing does not have anything to do with disproving the big bang itself. It's a step back as to why all that energy existed. This is why the big bang happening doesn't shut the book on religion.

The fact that it implys that some of the post-bang physical laws seem to be violated should come as no real surprise as the universe was a singularity at that point and quantum mechanics was the name of the game.

Quantum mechanics doesn't throw all of the laws out of the book. In fact, all objects adhere to quantum mechanics. It's mostly just relativity that quantum mechanics throws a monkey wrench even if they don't contradict. Since it is thought that things went faster than the speed of light or darn near close to it after the Big bang, this would explain why relativity was apparently broken. It also doesn't work on the quantum scale because quantum mechanics requires taking even smaller forces into account, things that would never impact macro objects.

 

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